Victoria Cross commander from Petersfield to be honoured

Loftus Jones
Loftus Jones
A Royal Navy shot of a helicopter winching exercise

Navy aircrewman hits milestone on city ship

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THE bravery of a naval commander will be remembered with a stone.

Loftus Jones was killed while marshalling a defiant last stand on his sinking destroyer during the Battle of Jutland.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery after going down with his ship.

All the First World War’s VC winners will be honoured with a commemorative stone as part of the centenary celebrations of that conflict.

Councillor Nick Drew said: ‘It is important we remember the heroes of the First World War.

‘The courage these men displayed against impossible odds should serve as an inspiration to us all.’

Cdr Jones’ destroyer, HMS Shark, was in the thick of the action during the Battle of Jutland and was hit many times by the German fleet.

With a crippled ship and serious wounds Cdr Jones continued to carry the fight to the enemy.

With only a single four-inch gun still capable of firing, he rallied the surviving members of his ship’s company to continue the battle, crippling a German torpedo boat destroyer in the process. Cdr Jones, who lived in what is now Moreton House, The Spain, Petersfield, was awarded the VC for ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’.

A suitable site for the stone is being identified.

The stone will be laid in 2016 following the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.